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February 15, 2021
Last week the Biden administration appointed career civil servant Richard Powers as Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (ATR). With the question of who will become Assistant Attorney General still up in the air and their confirmation likely several months away, the direction of the ATR’s enforcement is left in the hands of three top officials.
December 24, 2020
Examples of House Democrats’ failures to take on this administration, from the Postal Service to Schedule F, are piling up almost as fast as delayed Christmas presents this week.
December 23, 2020 | The American Prospect
One role that remains unfilled will be vital to enacting Biden’s policy agenda: the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Although many Americans have never heard of OIRA, the office is well known among corporate lobbyists, who take full advantage of its ability to stop regulations in their tracks. Since the Reagan administration, OIRA has earned a reputation as “the death row of well-meaning legislation.”
December 17, 2020 | The American Prospect
In an age of financialization and monopoly, ‘private-sector experience’ too often translates into those who successfully plunder for profit. Jeffrey Zients epitomizes that trend.
December 15, 2020 | Washington Post
It is a telling misunderstanding of the revolving-door critique to equate Jeffrey D. Zients’s private-sector history with that of all businesses. Mr. Zients is not a wealthy and respected businessman because he made a particularly good widget or displayed unusual managerial skill.
November 23, 2020
While the vast majority of Trump’s appointees will presumptively step down on January 20 a critical, powerful minority will stay in their seats until they are asked to leave. This includes the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Inspectors General, United States Attorneys, and a suite of chairpersons at independent agencies. Upon assuming the Oval Office, Biden should ask for their resignations without delay.
November 20, 2020 | Democracy Journal
On All Fronts at Once
Joe Biden is already up against the clock. Amid overlapping public health, economic, racial justice, and climate crises, failure to act and act fast will translate into lives lost, deeper economic pain, and a hastening climate catastrophe. To make matters more dire, it’s looking like the Senate will be a formidable, though not necessarily insurmountable, roadblock. It is, therefore, essential that the Biden Administration be prepared to capitalize on the momentum that propelled it into office. But even the strongest White House team will not be able to tightly manage all components of this policy onslaught on the timeline required. To succeed, the Biden Administration must embrace creative, sometimes unusual strategies, push many initiatives simultaneously, and rely heavily on the talents of the figures it has appointed.
November 13, 2020 | Slate
In McConnell, Biden likely faces an opponent ideologically hellbent on sabotaging any government led by someone with a “D” next to their name. McConnell has had ample opportunity to address Covid-19, its accompanying recession, climate change, and other crises facing the country—his inaction speaks for itself.
October 28, 2020 | New Republic
Beltway Lobbyists Are Clutching Their Pearls Over Biden's Ethics Reforms
Thousands of people, from all walks of life, are attracted to doing policy work in Washington. The ones who aren’t multimillionaires don’t get offered the Treasury undersecretary position as an entry-level job.
October 14, 2020
The fossil fuel industry depends on financial institutions to survive. And banks, for their part, pull in big profits from underwriting climate disaster. That’s why, if Joe Biden wins in November, his pick for Treasury Secretary must be an aggressive advocate for climate action. The Treasury Department has untapped capacity to push financial institutions and insurance companies to take the risks of the climate crisis seriously. While his legislative proposals elicit proper close scrutiny, his choice of Treasury Secretary is arguably among Biden’s most important climate policy decisions.
September 30, 2020 | American Prospect
The Debate We Had Vs. The Debate We Needed
Tuesday’s debate, sadly, was much more about Trump’s performative unruliness than any insight into either candidate’s plan (or lack thereof) for running the executive branch. While he had some decent moments amidst Trump’s freak show act, this was a particular disappointment for Joe Biden. The best, potentially landslide-generating argument against Trump is not that he is a horrible person. Swing voters were reminded of that by Trump’s performance all evening, but few needed the reminder.
September 22, 2020 | The New Republic
What a Defiant Democratic Party Looks Like
On Friday night, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death shocked an already reeling country. What came next, however, was sadly unsurprising. Mere hours after Ginsburg’s passing, McConnell had already affirmed that he would hold a vote for Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy, contravening the ersatz standard he set out in 2016. Or, as Senator Chris Murphy put it, “Nobody’s word means anything in this place anymore. All that matters is raw power.” It’s a bit of a belated realization: Republicans are unafraid to use their power to achieve their desired ends. Will Democrats respond in kind?
August 20, 2020 | The Daily Beast
Nancy Pelosi Needs to Do More to Save the Postal Service—and the Election
The crisis at the Postal Service has been building and accelerating for months with virtually no official response. Over the past two weeks, however, it reached a crescendo that even the country’s remarkably confrontation-averse opposition party could not ignore. In a matter of days, overwhelming grassroots pressure pushed House Democrats from seemingly having no plan to executing a rapid return to Washington, D.C., getting a hearing with the postmaster general on the calendar for next week and winning a promise from Louis DeJoy to cease operational changes until after the election.
August 10, 2020
The Revolving Door Project on Fighting Monopoly Power
Congress and the antitrust enforcement agencies have given unprecedented attention to the monopoly issues surrounding Big Tech in recent months. The scrutiny is one step toward rebalancing our increasingly concentrated economy, especially in the time of COVID-19, when small businesses are struggling to survive and corporations are further entrenching their power. But the problem of economic concentration extends far beyond Big Tech. It defines almost every corner of our economy. With the upcoming election and a potential shift in power, Joe Biden has an opportunity to reduce economic consolidation across the board, using executive branch powers including, but not limited to, reforming the antitrust enforcement agencies.
July 18, 2020 | Washington Monthly
Better Policy Ideas Alone Won’t Stop Monopolies
Over the last four years, new voices in the Democratic Party have been calling for policies that push back on established power structures. The growing anti-monopoly movement is a major part of this populist uprising—aimed at breaking up the corporate giants that dominate large swaths of the economy.